The Diddly Awards

The Cruel Summer Award for relaxing with a vengeance

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) crashed an Alpha Delta Phi frat bash at Union College in his district and let the students take videos and pictures of him in full party mode. A Sweeney staffer defended his decision: “As a committed representative of the people throughout the area where he lives and works, he enjoyed the discussion he shared with the students,” she wrote, adding that Sweeney “was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm the students displayed—particularly on a Friday evening.”

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) replied to critics who argued that immigrants performed a great deal of America’s farm labor: “I say let the prisoners pick the fruits.”

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) justified a trip to Santa Barbara paid for by the Fetzer Institute to “foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness” on the grounds that such “spiritual self-reflection” was part of her “official duties.”

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) proposed bill S.B. 2577, making it easier for a home-state company to import “certain golf club driver heads with plasma welded face plate.” Kerry offered a number of other obscure protectionist bills, including S.B. 2578, which would protect “certain golf club driver heads with rhombus shaped center face”—a club that cries out to be named “The Kerry.”

Senator George Allen (R-Va.) told U.S. News & World Report: “I cut my own grass,” and then, deciding to pump up the Bushian machismo, added that he uses a John Deere 155 lawn tractor while listening to NASCAR with headphones.

Winner! Jo Ann Emerson, who replied to a constituent’s letter about excess oil company profits by concluding: “Please feel free to contact me with other matters that are of importance to you. I am honored to serve as your Representative in the U.S. Congress. I think you’re an asshole.”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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